1. This was a suit, for ejectment on the ground that the defendants were under-raiyats and had received proper notice to quit. The suit was dismissed by the Court of first instance on the ground that the plaintiffs held the land as proprietors or tenure-holders by virtue of Section 22. Sub-section (2) of the Bengal Tenancy Act, as amended by the Eastern Bengal and Assam Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1908, and that, therefore, the defendants were no longer under raiyats but raiyats. The learned District Judge in appeal took the opposite view and decreed the suit. The defendants appeal.
2. It is conceded by their learned Vakil that the appeal cannot succeed on the main point unless it is held that the amending Act so far as Section 22 is concerned, is held to have retrospective operation. Ha had referred to the statement of objects and reasons as showing that it was the intention of the Legislature to stop the acquisition of tenancy interests by landlords. But that statement does not show that the Legislature intended to interfere with rights already acquired. Under the Act, as it stood before amendment, the plaintiffs had certainly acquired the rights of a raiyat in the land, though not apparently those of an occupancy-raiyat. Those rights cannot be taken away by an amending Act unless the intention to take them away is clearly set oat. That intention is certainly not set out in clear terms or in any terms in the amending Act, quoted above, and accordingly we must hold that the decision of the learned District Judge on the point is correct.
3. It is argued that the defendants were entitled to a decision on the 6th and 7th issues. But it is clear that they did not press the contention embodied in those issues or lay any materials for a decision upon them before the Courts.
4. The appeal is dismissed with costs.